Meet The New Brentwood Leadership Team

Story by Meeting Street Schools / June 3, 2022

Jamie Downs

Jamie Downs – Chief Schools Officer/Principal

Jamie spent the last 14 years of his life in Houston, TX, serving as a Lead Principal with YES Prep Public Schools for the past six years. He was the proud principal of the YES Prep Southside Giants, a 6th -12th grade school, where he led over 900 students and 85 staff members each day, helping to provide high-impact instruction and a one-of-kind culture to achieve their goal of 100% college acceptance. As Lead Principal, he also directly managed and coached YES principals-in-residence.

Prior to leading YES Prep Southside, he led YES Prep Eisenhower to an A School Grade, with all students being accepted to four-year colleges. He was also an Assistant Principal at Sharpstown High and was a sixth grade English teacher at Fondren Middle, both in the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

Jamie is also a Gamecock! Since graduating from UofSC, he has earned an MBA from Rice University as part of the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) and is currently a doctoral student at Columbia University’s Teachers College where he is pursuing an Ed.D in Urban Education Leadership.

Charlie Hansen

Charlie Hansen – Assistant Principal, Operations

Charlie serves as the Assistant Principal, Operations at Meeting Street Brentwood. He joined the Brentwood team this year after spending the past 10 years in local and state government. In his previous position, Charlie managed the day-to-day operations for Mount Pleasant’s Public Service Department’s Infrastructure Division and led hurricane response and other major events like the Cooper River Bridge Run. Charlie earned a Master of Public Administration from the College of Charleston and is passionate about organizational leadership and operations. When not at Brentwood, Charlie enjoys wrestling with his dog Mowgli and spending time with his wife.

Mary Catherine Lancaster

Mary Catherine Lancaster – Head of School, Elementary

Mary Catherine returned home to SC and joined the Bulldogs this year after serving as Director of Instruction for Brilla Public Charter Schools in the Bronx.

Originally from Charleston, Mary Catherine earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Spanish from Clemson University. She also earned her Master’s Degree from Teachers College at Columbia University as a Reading Specialist.

Roger Michael – Head of School, Middle

Roger Michael – Head of School, Middle

Roger is a dedicated educator who firmly believes that all students can learn and that their wildest dreams can and will become their reality. He is originally from Chesterfield, SC and attended the University of South Carolina Upstate. After eight years of serving urban and rural communities outside South Carolina, he is ecstatic to return to the Palmetto State. Roger has worked with students from grades PreK-12 in a variety of roles. He has served as a teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, and Principal.

In Roger’s free time, you can find him cooking a good southern meal, trying to bake, engaging in discussions about how Marvel is better than DC, or spending quality time with his family and friends.

Julia Lopes

Julia Lopes – Academic Dean, PreK-2nd

Julia is going into her 6th year at Meeting Street Brentwood. She spent the last 5 years teaching Kindergarten and now serves as Academic Dean for PreK-2nd. She is originally from São Paulo, Brazil and joined us in 2017 after receiving her B.A. in Elementary Education from University of Florida. of school, she enjoys being outdoors, going out to eat, and catching up on new movies and TV shows.

Angelina Liberi

Angelina Liberi – Academic Dean, 3rd-5th

Angelina Liberi is the Elementary School Dean of Instruction at Meeting Street Brentwood. This is her first year with the network and ninth year in education. Angelina received her B.A in Early Childhood Education from Chatham University and is currently pursuing her M.Ed in Educational Leadership. Angelina is also a Teach For America-South Carolina Alumni. In her spare time, Angelina enjoys the beach, spending time with her dog, and exploring Charleston!

Allison Dodson

Allison Dodson – Academic Dean, Middle ELA

Allison is starting her first year with Meeting Street Schools as the Academic Dean for Middle ELA at Meeting Street-Brentwood. Most recently, she was a Master Teacher Leader for ELA at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC. Allison received her B.A. in Communication Education from Illinois State University in 2003.

Caroline Martinez

Caroline Martinez – Academic Dean, Middle Math

Caroline Martinez has taught upper school math for the past two years at Meeting Street Brentwood. This will be her 10th year in the classroom where she has mainly taught Math to 3rd-6th grade students. She received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Carolina-Columbia and her M.S. in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL.


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About Meeting Street Schools

Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is an innovative non-profit where schools, families, and the community collaborate to create environments where all children can achieve their full potential. With a network of schools across South Carolina, including MSA-Charleston (Charleston, SC), MSA-Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC), MS-Brentwood (North Charleston, SC), MS-Burns (North Charleston, SC), and MS-Jasper & Beaufort (Jasper, SC), we are committed to providing students with the rigorous education they deserve.

Founded on the principle that every child deserves an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, Meeting Street Schools has been a beacon of hope and a testament to what's possible in education. Our schools are driven by a strong focus on student achievement, evidence-based instruction, and relentless support of our students and their families.

While united by our shared mission, each MSS campus, is unique in its character, tapping into the local spirit of the communities they serve. Explore each of our schools and discover how they're creating a brighter future for students in South Carolina.

News & NotesFrom Clemson University to Master Teacher and Player Coach: Emily Godwin

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Our Schools

MSA – CharlestonDowntown Charleston, SC - Independent School - Since 2008 - 364 Students

Nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, MSA Charleston is more than just a school—it’s a hub for innovative learning and community engagement. As part of the Meeting Street Schools network, MSA Charleston embodies a commitment to excellence through its rigorous academic programs, inclusive culture, and focus on developing the whole child. With a curriculum that emphasizes both academic and personal growth, MSA Charleston prepares students to be curious learners and active citizens of their community.

MSA – SpartanburgDowntown Spartanburg, SC - Public School - Since 2012 - 323 Students

MSA Spartanburg stands as a pillar of educational innovation in the Spartanburg community. The school’s dedicated educators and supportive learning environment ensure that each child receives a high-quality, personalized education with exceptional faculty and teachers. MSA Spartanburg is distinguished by its emphasis on community partnership, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.

MS – BrentwoodNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2014 - 694 Students

MS Brentwood is a place where education meets opportunity. Serving the Brentwood area, this school is a testament to the transformative power of education. With a student-centered approach that celebrates diversity and encourages excellence, MS Brentwood is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. MS Brentwood also serves as a hub for the Brentwood community to access educational and wellness services. The school’s commitment to innovation, coupled with a warm, welcoming environment, makes it a standout in the MSS network.

MS – BurnsNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2018 - 478 Students

Located in a community rich with history and culture, MS Burns is renowned for its dynamic educational approach that intertwines traditional learning with modern teaching techniques. The school’s focus on experiential learning ensures that students at MS Burns are not only recipients of knowledge but also active participants in their educational journey. MS Burns exists to spark an educational revolution for the students and families in the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood in North Charleston. With a commitment to creating a supportive and challenging academic environment, MS Burns is forging a new path in public education.

MS – Jasper & BeaufortJasper County, SC - Public Charter School - Fall 2023 -

MS Jasper represents the Meeting Street Schools’ dedication to community-based education with a global perspective. The school provides a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to explore their potential and cultivate a love for learning. With its diverse programs such as Eureka Math, and Wit and Wisdom, MS Jasper puts a major emphasis on character development, specialized learning and equips students to become thoughtful, engaged members of society, reflecting the MSS ethos of empowerment through education.


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“Meeting Street Academy is my family. They taught me that I am valuable. I am an asset to the world…They asked me, ‘What is your dream?’ I had never been asked that before. The MSS community gives me the strength to pursue my dreams.”

— Kadelyn SteedStudent

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“We come into work everyday truly believing that our students are capable of achieving anything that is put in front of them. Here at MSS, students are provided the opportunity to achieve success through the facilitation of well-educated teachers, resources, and a responsive classroom school environment.”

— NikToshia GilesTeacher

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“MSA is a family. Once you’re in, you’re in. They said they would follow our kids from K-3 to college and they actually lived up to what they said they would do. Not only did MSA challenge my daughter academically but it also exposed her to new things that she probably wouldn’t have been exposed to at our previous neighborhood school. Our journey at MSA was exciting and rewarding. They actually walk the walk.”

— Tyeka GrantParent